Pile o’ Books is two years old. I once read that on the day a child turns two you’re meant to be able to double their height and you will know their length as an adult. Always seemed to me there’d be quite a few short adults wandering around.
So what does P’o’B reaching toddlerdom mean? Well, it means that it’s one of the longest-running writing projects I’ve worked on, if we don’t include the ‘novel’ I’ve been pattering at for about five years. (And seeing as barely 1000 words pattered out last year, I don’t think we need to.) It’s also one of the longest-running structured reading projects I’ve thrown myself into. Apart, perhaps from something in my later primary school years called Book It! which involved getting your teacher to give you a sticker for every book you’d read and when you had five stickers you got a star-sticker on a purple holographic badge and a free kids meal at Pizza Hut. I think for quite some time Thursday nights meant a pizza dinner (and an awesome sparkly badge).
So does Pile o’ Books 2010 deserve any fast food rewards? Perhaps. I must admit to being bemused over posting on only 22 books when the previous year we managed 35. Even if you add in the few which didn’t fit the alphabetical imperative we still don’t get to 35. It’s, well, disappointing. Clearly trying to ground a topsy-turvy new single life and taking 6-week holidays are things more conducive to reading than whatever the heck it is I did in 2010. But there are positives too. Having a post featured on Freshly Pressed meant over 3300 people checked out Pile o’ Books in one day and some of you even decided to hang around, subscribe, comment, add a link on your own pages—this, I think, can be deemed a success. And is worth a complimentary garlic bread at least.
And so with another year over (in fact, with the new one already begun), it’s time to sit back and look ahead to P’o’B 2011 (and for your humble blogger, other life things too). All will be revealed in a matter of days. And in the meantime, a list:
Favourite book read in 2010: Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow.
Happiest discovery: Richard Ford.
Literary props: Tackling Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa and loving it.
Most disappointing book: Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited, if only because my expectations ran so high.
Purged book most sad to let go: George Saunders’ The Braindead Megaphone. I love Saunders’ fiction but have heard so-so things about this collection of essays, and as I’ve had it for a few years and not opened it, and as I don’t read much non-fiction, I decided to set it free.
Happiest book re-owned: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. One of my favourite novels which I surrendered in a hostel in Ottawa, Canada. A friend gave me a replacement copy for Christmas, and all is now right with the world.
Thank you for reading.